Custom iPhone 12 variants pay tribute to Apple’s very first computer

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Caviar iPhone Apple-1
How many Apple has changed since 1976!
Photo: Caviar

Russian company Caviar is known for producing blinged-out Apple devices that would make billionaire fat cats and 2000-era rappers say “that’s a bit over-the-top.”

But its latest creations, infinitely more humble and low-fi in appearance, are easily my favorite of its customized devices. Caviar will produce a pair of iPhone 12 models patterned after the original Apple-1 computer, as built in 1976.

Today in Apple history: Apple-1 starts a revolution

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Apple-1
The Apple-1 in all its glory!
Photo: Auction Team Breker

April 11: Today in Apple history: Apple-1 launches. It's the First Apple computer. April 11, 1976: Apple releases its first computer, the Apple-1.

Designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak, the computers are sold wholesale by “Steven” Jobs. To finance their manufacturing, Wozniak sells his HP-65 calculator for $500, while Jobs sells his VW van. Years later, in 2014, a working Apple-1 will sell at auction for $905,000.

Super-rare Apple-1 sells for big bucks at auction

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Apple-1 auction netted almost half a million dollars.
A working Apple-1 still goes for quite a pile of money.
Photo: RR Auctions

A fully functional and complete Apple-1 computer, hand-built by Apple founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs back in 1976, was auctioned off yesterday for over $458 thousand.

There are only a handful of these left. This particular unit appeared recently on the TV show Pawn Stars.

Today in Apple history: Homebrew Computer Club meets for first time

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Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak make important connections at the Homebrew Computer Club.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak learned valuable lessons at Homebrew.
Photo: Apple

March 3: Today in Apple history: Homebrew Computer Club meets for first time March 3, 1975: The Homebrew Computer Club, a hobbyist group that helps spark the personal computing revolution, holds it first meeting in Menlo Park, California.

It becomes a welcome forum for computer geeks at a time when few others cared. And regular attendee Steve Wozniak and his friend Steve Jobs will eventually show off the first Apple-1 unit at the club.

Today in Apple history: The Byte Shop, Apple’s first retailer, opens

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Paul Terrell founded The Byte Shop on his birthday.
Paul Terrell founded The Byte Shop on his birthday.
Photo: NextShark/Paul Terrell

December 8: Today in Apple history: Early computer store The Byte Shop, Apple's first retailer, opens December 8, 1975: San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur Paul Terrell opens The Byte Shop, one of the world’s first computer stores — and the first to sell an Apple computer.

Years before Apple would open its own retail outlets, the Byte Shop stocks the first 50 Apple-1 computers built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

Today in Apple history: Rare Apple-1 sells for crazy money

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The Apple-1 sold for what was then the largest amount a personal computer ever earned at auction.
The Apple-1 sold for what was then the largest amount a personal computer had sold for at auction.
Photo: Christie's

November 23: Today in Apple history: Rare Apple-1 computer sells for $210,000 at auction November 23, 2010: An early Apple-1 computer, complete with its original packaging and a letter signed by Steve Jobs, sells for $210,000.

At the time, it ranks as the most expensive personal computer ever sold at auction. However, it’s a rare find. The working Apple-1 is thought to be one of only around 50 thought to still exist.

Today in Apple history: Unique Apple-1 computer sells for big money

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Steve Wozniak shows off a
Steve Wozniak shows off a "Celebration" model Apple-1, the rarest version of Apple's rarest computer.
Photo: Charitybuzz

August 25: Today in Apple history: Rare Celebration Apple-1 computer sells for big money August 25, 2016: An ultra-rare Apple-1 computer raises $815,000 in a charity auction, one of the highest prices ever paid for one of the machines. Bidding actually reaches $1.2 million in the auction’s final minutes. However, that bid gets pulled seconds before a winner is announced.

The reason for the super-high price? This “Celebration” Apple-1 boasts a feature that did not appear on any production models of the computer.

12 Apple 1s turn computer festival into ‘Disneyland for nerds’

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Apple 1 collection at Vintage Computer Festival West
Twelve of the 70 Apple 1 computers still in existence were at the Vintage Computer Festival West this past weekend.
Photo: Erik Klein/Vintage Computer Federation

Only 70 Apple 1 computers are known to exist. But collectors gathered twelve of them over the weekend for the annual Vintage Computer Festival West at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.

This is no small feat considering the fragility and rarity of the humble machine that launched a computing revolution — and one of the world’s most influential companies.

“They are the computers that started Apple,” Dag Spicer, senior curator for the museum, told Cult of Mac. “People are completely blown away.”

Computer festival boasts world’s largest gathering of rare Apple 1s

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Apple-1
Would you believe 10 of these will be in one place?
Photo: Auction Team Breker

You would have to ride in a time machine back to 1976 and that garage on Crist Drive in Los Altos, Calif., to find 10 Apple 1 computers in the same space.

But this weekend, 10 or more will be displayed at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., for the annual Vintage Computer Festival West.

About half the machines will be working.